Operation Round Up

Application Form, By-Laws, Trustees, Awards, Meeting Info.

Operation Round Up ® is an ongoing charitable fund raising program to benefit worthwhile community projects. Funds are raised from North Itasca Electric Co-op., Inc. members who voluntarily round up their electric bills to the next highest dollar amount.

Thank you for participating in this tremendous community support organization.

Please read the WATTS NEWS for more information on Operation Round Up®

A: Each month, members who wish to participate allow North Itasca Electric Co-op.; Inc. to automatically round up their electric bills to the next highest dollar amount. For example, if your bill is $68.51, your bill will be rounded up to $69.00, meaning that month’s contribution is 49 cents. If your bill is $68.90, your bill will be rounded up to $69.00, contributing 10 cents. The extra cents will be put in the North Itasca Electric Cooperative Community Trust. The most any member could contribute annually is $11.88, but will average about $6 a year per participant. Individually it doesn’t sound like much, but collectively it adds up in a hurry. We average more than $20,000 in annual giving.

A: Any organization in the NIECI service area is eligible to apply for a grant from the trust.Funds will not be used to pay utility bills or go towards political campaigns. Grant application deadlines will be published in the Watts News.

A: Examples of grants would be funding for fire department equipment, EMS, youth & school programs, arts & education, senior citizen groups and other various community programs and projects.

A: A list of the funds awarded will be featured in the WATTS NEWS and there will be an annual report for the trust fund. Until the funds are distributed, they will be placed in a trust fund with the North Itasca Electric Cooperative Community Trust.

A: A nine person volunteer board of directors from the North Itasca Electric Co-op., Inc. service area will review the applications and make grant recommendations.

A: Separate from the North Itasca Electric Co-op., Inc. Board of Directors, this non-paid board will oversee the trust, evaluate applications made to the program and make recommendations for issuing grants. They will have a set of bylaws by which to operate.

A: We realize that not everyone is willing or able to participate in the program. You may opt-out of the voluntary program.  However, if you do not notify us of your decision to opt-out, you will automatically be enrolled in the program.  You may opt-out at any time in the future if your situation changes or you may opt-back-in as well.  To opt-out or to opt-in please notify us by calling 218-743-3131 or toll free 800-762-4048.  You may also email us roundup@nieci.com or notify us in writing with your account number and name telling us of your desire to opt-out or opt-in.


The North Itasca Electric Community Trust will be funded by voluntary Operation Round Up contributions from members of the Cooperative and from other sources of funds available to the Trust. Grant availability will be promoted to area communities and organizations. Contributions will be distributed primarily in the local area served by the Cooperative for charitable and educational purposes.

The Trust Board will review and distribute funds bi-yearly – in April and October.

Bi-yearly application deadlines are the last Fridays of March and September. Bi-yearly applications must be postmarked or turned in to North Itasca Electric’s headquarters at 301 Main Avenue in Bigfork by the close of business hours (3:30 pm) on these dates to be eligible for consideration in conjunction with the bi-yearly schedule listed above.


  1. Contributions will generally be made to nonprofit, civic or community-based organizations that demonstrate a commitment to enhance the quality of life in the region.
  2. Contributions will be distributed primarily in the local area served by the cooperative (see North Itasca Electric geographic service territory map, back page).
  3. Projects should fit in one or more of these categories: Community Service, Education and Youth, Community Economic Assistance, Environment, Emergency Energy Assistance and Disaster Relief.
  4. Applications must be submitted on Official Operations Round-Up® Application forms.


Contributions will generally not be made for:

  1. Lobbying, political and religious organizations.
  2. Veteran, fraternal and labor organizations.
  3. Fund-raising dinners, raffles and other events.
  4. Individuals (except school scholarships, emergency assistance and disaster relief).
  5. Capital fund campaigns.
  6. National fund drives.
  7. Advertising.
  8. On-going operational expenses.


  1. The following factors will be considered in the evaluation of all funding requests:
    1. Potential benefit to area residents and entire community
    1. Level of community support for the program or project or the organization                                                                requesting the funds
    1. Administrative capability of the organization to deliver quality service or program
    1. Results that are predictable and can be evaluated
  2. It shall be the responsibility of all Trust directors to evaluate funding requests and allocate contributions to accomplish the purposes and intent of these guidelines.


  1. Complete Application form.
  2. Provide detailed budget demonstrating:
    1. How grant funds will be spent on this project or program
    1. Sources and uses of existing program funds
  3. Submit copy of IRS tax-exempt letter, if appropriate

Submit completed application form and IRS tax-exempt letter, if appropriate, to: Jerry Loney, North Itasca Electric Co-op., Inc., PO Box 227, Bigfork, MN 56628-0227

North Itasca Electric will notify the applicants of grant approval status as soon as possible following each bi-yearly Trust Board meeting. Inquiries may be made by calling 800-762-4048 or by emailing support@nieci.com.